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photo by Marie Consindas

January Photo Newsletter
    Life Held Still

“Myrna could spend happy hours browsing bookcases. She felt if she could just get a good look at a person’s bookcase and their grocery cart, she’d pretty much know who they were.”
~ Louise Penny, Still Life

"Remember the dynamic pause:  still does not mean static" ~ Rachel Zervas

photo by Eloise Bocella

photo by Owen Biddle

Dear Photographers,

   The outdoor chill may discourage us from venturing too far from our nice warm homes, but that doesn't mean we're lacking for photographic subject matter.  The choice isn't freeze outside or shrivel up creatively.  It's the perfect time to consider the still life!

   Of the main photographic genres (portraiture, landscape, photojournalism etc.), setting up and taking a still life is the best introduction we know of to the art of photography.  Taking an exposure reading, determining depth of field, framing (composing), using a tripod, focusing a lens and arranging your subjects are all basic skills that carry through to every other part of photography.  Even if your intention is to learn about landscape, portraiture or some other branch of photography, this unhurried approach can be the best way to tackle working with a new camera.  Learning f-stop, shutter speed and ISO (the basic exposure triangle) is much easier with nonmoving subjects.


The Lively Still Life


photo by Owen Biddle

     In this hands-on work shop you are invited to bring along objects that have a special meaning to you, or that you simply find beautiful or interesting or evocative.  I'll provide the lighting, background and guidance to insure you go home with really special pictures you'll be proud to frame and hang on the wall. 

First session:  Using your own materials and an assortment of my own, we will compose and photograph still lifes.  

Wednesday,  January 24  7:00 - 8:30

Second session:  Share the results of your work from the intervening week

Wednesday,  January 31  7:00 - 8:30


Photo Field Trips

 Museum of Archeology and Anthropology

A wonderful setting to learn the skills for photographing objects - and such fascinating objects!  We will have opportunities to work on  camera stabilization, framing, focusing, suppressing or adding reflection, white balance, blurring out a distracting background, ISO  ...- there are a surprising number factors involved in capturing these unique artifacts.

Saturday,  January 27  10:00  12:00



Academy of Natural History

Sometimes the life is still because it is no longer alive!  The dioramas can offer great juxtapositions of taxodermied animals in natural-looking settings with their very much alive human spectators.

Friday,  January 19  10:00 - 12:00 


In-Person Photo Salon

Sunday,  1/28   2:00 - 3:30

These are very friendly, relaxed get-togethers at my apartment in Lansdowne. Photographers of all levels are welcome to share pictures, get photography tips, and discuss camera equipment. You can also get ideas for entering photography contests, submitting to photography magazines and having photo shows. Feedback from the group provides encouragement and inspiration to go out and take more pictures. These informal photography critiques offer an excellent opportunity to start identifying themes in your work and to get ideas for new directions. Group size is limited, so if you can come an RSVP is required by email or call (610) 626-7854. Cost is $10.  


Not a photo but.....

 In this painting Janet Fish (1938 -  ) transforms the small and ordinary into the monumental and reveals the beauty of everyday objects seen with a loving eye.




December Photo Contest:

Shadows and Reflections

First Place Winner

Walt Miles

Walt Miles  .jpg

  photo by Walt Miles


Second Place Winner

Nancy Karafel


photo by Nancy Karafel


January Photo Contest 

Still Life

If you're hunkering down on a cold day, how about setting up and capturing some still life photos that communicate and show off your sense of composition and technical talents?  To enter simply email your photo to :

The winning photos will be featured in our next Photo Newsletter.

DSLR and Mirrorless Fundamentals Tutorials

Below are descriptions of the basic units of our curriculum available to students ranging from beginner to advanced.  Most units are five lessons and include a set of assignments designed to give practice in targeted skills with opportunities to get feedback from the instructor so that you learn from your experiences.

Just give a call and  we can set up individual sessions to keep you moving forward with your photography.

 Call (610)-626-7854 for details.


​(click on links for more information)


Fundamentals 1:  Camera Operations   is for students who are just starting out, or want a good review of the basic camera functions. 

Fundamentals 2:  Applications  is for students who have some comfort with the camera and want to start applying their skills to expand their photographic range.

Fundamentals 3:  Composition  takes photography beyond the subject, and encourages you to see the artistic and compositional opportunities in everyday life. Here is a chance for your right brain to come out and play!


Fundamentals 4:  Lighting Across the Genres is for students who are  ready for the next critical step: lighting.  Explore sophisticated means of controlling both natural and artificial light for portraits, landscape and still life to get just the mood and effects you want.


Advanced Photography - Using self-generated assignments and in-depth critiques we will help you move forward in your work.



Photographers of the Month

 Artists of Still Life 



Putting together this gallery of still life photography was pure fun!  With each photographer we discover a new sensibility, a unique approach to composition, an unexpected selection of subject matter....  Whether the images are richly tangled and jumbled or superbly restrained and elegant, we hope they'll provide  you all kinds of inspiration to look around and discover the makings for beautiful works of art just sitting on a bookshelf, a window sill or even in the kitchen sink!  (And forgive us for including Owen in this line-up of undisputed masters!  He is such an unabashed enthusiast of still life photography we just couldn't resist!) 

Click on thumbnails to see full images.

Owen Biddle-1_edited_edited.jpg

Marie Cosindas

Olivia Parker

Irving Penn

Juan Torres

Owen Biddle

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